With the new offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo now leading the Giants offense, the offensive players are in the process of learning new plays, strategies, and tactics. Receiver Odell Beckham Jr., the team’s first-round draft pick, specifically said he is focusing on, “Learning one spot and then the whole play.”
To help him along, Beckham said he’s been looking toward two of his role models on the team: Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle.
Cruz and Beckham have similar skill sets and so it makes sense that Beckham views Cruz as a tutor. Beckham said that he models his game after Cruz and that, “To be able to have him in the room and to be able to pick his brains has been great for me.”
Beckham is also happy to be reunited with Randle. The two wide receivers played for LSU for one year.
“It’s been great to see Reuben,” Beckham said. “When I came to LSU, he taught me the ropes.”
It appears that Randle is going to continue to teach Beckham as he begins his career as a New York Giant. Beckham acknowledges that Randle, “Might not be the best personal tutor, but he’ll teach me what I need to know, as far as the position he plays and the opposite side as well.”
As a young player in a completely new place, with a new coach and teammates, Beckham also says that “It’s definitely comforting to have a piece of home.”
He is happy to have rekindled his relationship with Randle and looks to continue doing so in the future. Randle, for his part, reached out to Beckham before the draft, wishing him luck and sending him his prayers, and Beckham says that the two are “able to read each other’s minds to an extent even though we only played for a year.”
The two former Tigers and now current Giants, though friends, are also in competition with each other. Beckham acknowledges that, “In a way, it brings a different level of competition between us.”
However, Beckham does not dwell on this new feeling of competitiveness. Right now, he said he is “trying to get on the field, somehow, some way.”
Beckham says that he has a lot being thrown at him at the same time and so he is focused on learning what he needs to learn and doing what he needs to do in order to play.
When asked what he thought Randle brought to the team, Beckham talked about his size. Randle, at 6-2, 208 pounds, is a lot bigger than Beckham, who is 5-11, 198 pounds, but the rookie said doesn’t seem worried about size influencing the outcome of the competition.
“I think there’s some other guys in the league who might be smaller than I am.” “Size is really no matter.”
Beckham therefore appears to be more concerned with the guidance Randle can and has already provided him than the competition he poses.
“I remember learning from him at LSU, watching him on a day to day basis, everything that he does,” Beckham said. “A lot of my game actually comes from the things that he’s done.”
Training camp will prove to be very interesting for the two teammates because of the simultaneous competition and chemistry that exists between the two players.
Randle, on the one hand, had not been able to get on the same page on timing routes with quarterback Eli Manning last year, which caused numerous incompletions and interceptions. Randle has a lot of ability, but not as much field sense. He is entering his third season which is often the make-or-break year. He has talent, but it comes in quick flashes instead of consistent strokes.
The tables then turn to Beckham, who has a lot of potential. He won the 2013 Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player as well as first team All-America honors as a junior last year as both a kick returner and return specialist.
He also set the LSU record and finished second in SEC single-season history with 2,315 all-purpose yards in 2013, ending his career with 15 touchdowns and 4, 118 all-purpose yards. However, it has been historically difficult for rookie receivers to make an impact immediately, so we will have to see how Beckham responds in the coming months.
For right now, it should be exciting to watch the friendly competition between the two wide receivers play out.